20 Effective Home Remedies for Sunburn

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

Some of the home remedies for sunburn include the application of Aloe Vera, oatmeal water, potato, lemon juice, sandalwood, lettuce, turmeric, vinegar, almond, rose water, and milk. Cold water compresses, cool baths, the application of sunscreen, optimum consumption of water on a daily basis, use of antibacterial soap, and the use of moisturizers are some other home remedies that help for quick healing of sunburn.

Due to extreme weather conditions and the depletion of the ozone layer, the effects of sunburn are intensified. However, with effective implementation of these home remedies, the treatment of sunburns will be far easier.

Home Remedies for Sunburn

The effective implementation of the following remedies will help to curb the symptoms of sunburn and speed up recovery.

Minimize Sun Exposure

The foremost remedy of any condition is to stay away from what caused the condition. Exposure to the sun should therefore be avoided. The patient must stay indoors, especially between 10am and 4pm, when UV rays are usually strongest. While outdoors, sunburn patients should always wear a hat, light clothing with a light color, and sunglasses to protect the eyes from the UV rays.

Close-up view of a man with sunburn marks on his neck

Trying to prevent sunburn? Stay indoors during the peak hours, apply sunscreen if at all ou have to step out, and keep yourself covered. Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Sunburn causes pain and inflammation of the skin. Compresses could be used to cool down the burn. This cooling effect could be heightened by directing a fan on the sunburned area. Cold water also acts as an effective coolant to help reduce the symptoms of a sunburn. A cloth can be dipped into cold water and applied on the affected area. Repeat every five minutes when the cloth gets warm. This should be done about 10 times every day and should be continued even after the symptoms start to subside.

Cool Bath

A cool bath is also an effective remedy. Cool water provides good treatment for a sunburn patient. It helps relieve pain, itching, and inflammation. Do not use perfumes, oils, or bath salts during the bath, as they can increase skin sensitivity. While using a towel, one must gently pat the skin so as to avoid further damage to the skin. [1]


Constant consumption of water or fluids is necessary as sunburn may lead to dehydration. Healthy consumption of water also helps cool the body. A minimum daily consumption of water should be at least 6 to 8 glasses of water.

Vegetables and Fruits

Consumption of vegetables and fruits with a high water content can help you rehydrate faster. Some of these vegetables and fruits include cucumbers, bottle gourd, snake gourd, ridged gourd melons, papaya, musk melon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe, all of which have a high water content.

Aloe Vera

Complications of sunburn, such as itching, redness, and irritation can be eliminated with the use of the thick juice of Aloe Vera. It causes constriction of the blood vessels. Slit open an Aloe Vera leaf and directly apply the juice to the burn. Apply this mixture 5 to 6 times on a daily basis. [2]

Baking Soda

Baking soda can provide a good relief from the burns. Add 1-2 cups of baking soda to the bath water and soak for 30 minutes. The sodium bicarbonate in the soda can help bring the acid-alkali balance in the body. [3]

Skim Milk

Skim milk contains milk protein, which is soothing for burns. Take milk and water at a 1:4 ratio, add some ice cubes, and apply compresses for 15 minutes. Repeat this procedure every 2-4 hours.


Oatmeal water relieves sunburned skin and helps in speedy recovery. Take dry oatmeal in muslin cloth and place this cloth in chilled water for some time and then remove the oatmeal. This water can be applied on the sunburn every 2-4 hours. [4]

Lemon Juice and Rosewater

Lemon juice, rosewater, and glycerin can be mixed in equal proportions and applied on the burns before going to sleep. The next day, it should be rinsed off with cold water. [5]

An infographic on home remedies for sunburn

Quick home remedies for sunburn. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Sandalwood and Turmeric

Sandalwood and turmeric have both been recommended by the Ayurvedic system of medicine. A paste of these two can be made and applied to the affected areas. Sandalwood has cooling effects and turmeric has healing properties; both can act quickly in relieving the pain. [6]

Almond Milk Paste

A handful of almonds can be soaked overnight in water. After grinding them the next day, mix the paste with milk and apply this to the sunburned area. The process can be repeated 2 times a day for best results. [7]

Lettuce Leaves

Lettuce leaves are also good for sunburn. The leaves must be boiled in water and made into a paste. This paste can be applied directly on the affected areas when it is still warm. They can quickly ease the pain and also help the area to heal faster. [8]


The use of vinegar is also a remedy for sunburn. Add cider or lavender vinegar to your bath. Vinegar helps ease sunburn pain, itching, redness, and inflammation. [9]


Slices of potatoes can be put on the skin to heal the burn. [10]


Before going out, sunscreen must be applied to the skin to avoid damage due to UV rays. Use sunscreen with SPF 15 (Sun Protection Factor) 15 or more. The sunscreen you buy must be effective against UVA and UVB rays.

Antibacterial Soap

The possibility of a secondary infection can be averted with the use of an anti-bacterial soap that kills the bacteria that prey on dead tissues.

Exposure to Air

Direct exposure to air helps heal burnt cells. Application of creams, butter, petroleum jelly, or any other greasy substance should be avoided.


Moisturizers are used to compensate the moisture loss caused by sunburn. Chilling of the cream before the use makes its use more effective.

Good Sleep

A good sleep is mandatory for effective recovery. Also, sprinkle corn-starch on your bed before sleeping to prevent chafing.

Contact a doctor if:

Pain doesn’t cease after a few days.

Purple patches, discolored blotches appear on the skin.

Rashes appear on the skin.

You’re constantly nauseated, feverish, and in excess pain.

Your eyelids are burnt, you have sore eyes, or if there are large amount of blisters on your skin.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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